n° 168 – September/October 2020

“Never waste a good crisis.” This saying is valid now as never before. Italy is taking up the challenge by putting into practice a “green” transition, building new digital opportunities and collaborating closely with the scientific research for a COVID vaccine, as well as co-operating industrially and in the development of a common vision with other EU integration actors. These are the potential positive legacies of the current health emergency.

The virus is certainly weaker but is not yet allowing us the opportunity to celebrate. Non-ferrous metals operators know something about this: the desire to kick-start business is strong but reality says that everything is very difficult, with tight negotiations, limited margins and struggling production failing to drag through large flows of material.

There is no lack of optimism even though the first seven months of 2020 for “Made in Italy” as a whole showed a sharply negative year-on-year result (-14%). For Italian industry, 2020 will certainly be a year to forget, but the extent of the crisis is expected to be no worse than that of 2009: it is estimated that the country’s major industrial groups will suffer a fall in turnover of around 13%, with the manufacturing sector down by a more favourable 9%; in 2009, industry turnover contracted by 14.7% and manufacturing by 16.2%. The drops in the second half of 2020 have been far less steep than in the first half while, in parallel, positive signs have become less episodic. The electronics and particularly the car sector are growing - the latter up by 5.7% when compared to July 2019.

Perhaps more than any other Europeans, Italians believe that the government is not doing enough: 77% of the population are in favour of a radical recovery plan which allows for large-scale green government investments that are capable of restarting the economy in a sustainable way.

Leopoldo Clemente - Leopoldo Clemente (Italy)

Leopoldo Clemente

LCD Trading S.R.L (ITA), Board Member of the BIR Non-Ferrous Metals Division

n° 168 – September/October 2020